Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Just Served: Now What?

Question: I was just served with Arizona divorce papers; what needs to be done to protect myself?

Answer: You must file a responsive pleading to your spouse's divorce petition, also known as an “Answer” within the applicable timeframe. If you were served in Arizona with the divorce papers, then you must file your Answer within 20 days of the date of service; if served outside Arizona, you have 30 days to file your Answer. Failure to timely file allows the other party in the divorce proceedings to apply for default, meaning that you cannot participate in further divorce proceedings and the court may award your spouse everything for which they ask. Our advice is to file an Answer to the divorce proceeding immediately because you can always attempt to settle your divorce case after you preserve your rights. Keep in mind that you may be served with papers requiring your appearance at a family court hearing well before the 20-day period expires. In that case, you should seek the advice of an attorney but also make sure that you appear in court to avoid the family court entering a negative order without hearing your side of the story.

Wilcox & Wilcox, P.C.
Trent Wilcox
For the Firm

Phoenix office:
3030 N. Central Ave., Ste. 705
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Ph: 602-631-9555
Fx: 602-631-4004

Goodyear office:
1616 N. Litchfield Rd., Ste. 240
Goodyear, Arizona 85338
Ph: 623-344-7880
Fx: 602-631-4004

Visit our website: www.wilcoxlegal.com

Disclaimer: Providing the above information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To create such a relationship, both the attorney and potential client must sign a written fee agreement. The information contained herein is meant only as general information and is not meant to be relied upon for the purpose of taking legal action. You should contact an attorney in person for further and specific information. Wilcox & Wilcox, P.C. attorneys are licensed in Arizona only except for personal injury attorney Robert N. Edwards, who is licensed in Arizona and Minnesota.

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